UN highlights power of social media in modern diplomacy during day-long New York event

United Nations Social Media Day, January 2015. Photo: Erin Moore

30 January 2015 – The United Nations is holding its first ever Social Media Day at its New York Headquarters today, in an event featuring social media professionals, digital diplomacy practitioners and academics who are sharing their experiences, discussing trends and proving insights into their work.

The Acting Head of the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), Maher Nasser, opened proceedings earlier this morning and his address was followed by a keynote speech from Adam Snyder, a strategist at the private sector firm Burson-Marsteller, who helped produce a study spotlighting Twitter's impact on diplomacy.

Mr. Snyder told the audience that Twitter is making diplomacy more real-time and he expanded on those comments later in an interview with the DPI.

“You look at 10 years ago, if an ambassador comes out of a meeting and would say 'I just met with so and so and we were talking about this issue,' that would either be done in the form of a letter or a blog post or an article,” he said. “Now it can go out in real time.”

After Mr. Snyder's speech, UN Ambassadors from Canada, Fiji and Pakistan described their lives “Tweeting from the Top” before representatives of Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr discussed how to make the most of social media platforms.

The afternoon session begins with a series of presentations showcasing how three different organisations have used the power of digital media to create online movements through strategic storytelling, community generated content and amplifying action. The talks will be followed by a third panel featuring social media experts.

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